Posts for tag: braces
The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.
"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")
Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)
Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).
Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.
Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.
What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”
If you're older than 10, you've probably never said, "I wish I could wear cool silver braces!" Although traditional braces offer an effective way to straighten teeth, they're not exactly attractive. Invisalign offers a much more discreet way to straighten your teeth and improve your bite. Our Kirkland, WA, dentist, Dr. Bernard Pak, explains how the innovative orthodontic system works.
No wires, no problem
Unlike ceramic or metal braces, Invisalign doesn't use wires and brackets to reposition teeth. The system relies on a series of clear, removable aligner trays that exert constant gentle pressure on teeth. Each set in the series is custom-designed for you by Dr. Pak in his Kirkland office using CAD/CAM technology. After two weeks of wear, you'll replace your set with the next one in the series.
Invisalign offers a more comfortable orthodontic experience
Adjustments are an important part of traditional orthodontic treatment, but they can be a little painful. No adjustments are needed with Invisalign. Your aligner trays gradually change the position of your teeth, ensuring that your orthodontic experience is much more comfortable. You also won't have to worry about cuts to your mouth or tongue due to loose brace wires.
Frowning doesn't have to be your default facial expression
Because your Invisalign trays are transparent, you'll never feel that you have to hide your teeth during your treatment. Trays are created from digital images, impressions, and X-rays of your teeth to ensure that they fit snugly. They won't interfere with your speech or attract attention to your smile. In fact, your friends may not even realize that you're straightening your teeth.
Aligner trays make eating and oral hygiene easy
Popcorn, gum, sticky foods, and hard raw vegetables are among the foods you'd have to avoid if you chose traditional braces. All of those foods can damage wires or get stuck in wires and brackets. Fortunately, you don't have to stay away from your favorite foods when you wear Invisalign aligner trays. You'll take out the trays when you eat or drink anything other than water and can continue to eat anything you want. Your oral hygiene routine won't change either, as you'll also remove your trays before you brush and floss.
Are you ready to improve your smile with Invisalign? Call our Kirkland, WA, dentist, Dr. Pak, at (425) 893-9500 to schedule an appointment.
Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.
“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.
Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.
Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.
Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.
Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.
So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!
For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”
If you have gapped, misaligned or crowded teeth, you can achieve a straighter smile without metal braces. Invisalign is an innovative alternative for straightening your smile that utilizes removable, clear trays that are practically invisible. There are no uncomfortable and unsightly metal brackets and wires. Invisalign trays can be custom made for you at Kirkland Smiles Dental Care. There, Dr. Bernard Pak, your Kirkland, WA, dentist, will create a mold of your teeth that will be used to create custom Invisalign trays just for you.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign straightens and aligns the teeth with soft, flexible trays. One tray is placed over the top row of the teeth and another along the bottom row. The trays gently guide the teeth toward the desired position. Patients receive a new set of trays every few weeks. Each new set is slightly different from the previous one, which helps the teeth continue moving into position. The average length of time needed to straighten the teeth with Invisalign is between nine and fifteen months. While wearing Invisalign, you’ll see your Kirkland dentist every six weeks.
Advantages of Invisalign
There are several advantages to choosing Invisalign for achieving a straighter smile. Instead of the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces, Invisalign trays are soft and flexible. The trays are composed of a soft plastic material so there are no uncomfortable metal wires poking the mouth or brackets rubbing against the gums. Additionally, the trays are clear, which means they are barely noticeable. Metal braces, on the other hand, are silver and readily visible.
One of the most significant advantages of Invisalign trays is that they are removable. They can be taken out to eat, drink, brush and floss. Since they can be removed to eat and drink, there is no worry of food particles becoming trapped in the trays. With traditional metal braces, food particles are easily trapped between brackets and wires. Further, removing the trays to brush and floss makes it easier to thoroughly clean the teeth and maintain good oral health.
With Invisalign, you can achieve a straighter smile without metal braces. The many advantages of Invisalign make it an easy choice. The soft trays are comfortable and you can straighten your teeth discreetly since they are clear. To find out if Invisalign is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Pak, your dentist in Kirkland, WA, by calling Kirkland Smiles Dental Care at (425) 893-9500.
Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.
He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”
Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.
There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.
The Science Behind the Magic
There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.
The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.
How’s that for a disappearing act?!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”